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Gerald A. WhiteGerald A. White, Jr., MS, Chair of Awards and Honors Committee
(written on behalf of the Awards and Honors Committee)

Each year, the AAPM announces the opportunity for the nomination of new AAPM Fellows. Fellowship in AAPM recognizes an individual’s contributions through one or more of the following:

Award of Fellowship requires that a nominee has excelled in the category of service to the AAPM and one or more of the other categories.

As stated in the Rules of the Association, to be eligible for nomination:

It should be noted that the length of membership is only one of several criteria considered by AAPM when selecting candidates for Fellowship. The Awards & Honors Committee carefully considers all of the nominee’s accomplishments. It selects those who have reached an appropriate threshold based on a relative weighting and analysis of the candidates’ proffered qualifications. The evaluation criteria and their relative importance are reviewed regularly and updated by the Committee to ensure that the weights assigned to different activities are appropriate and relevant. The Committee also assesses the proportion of Fellows among the entire membership and endeavors to maintain a consistent ratio with other professional societies. The Committee then forwards its recommendations to the AAPM Board of Directors for approval.

The Committee reviews the nominations for Fellowship each year in the fall and selects candidates to receive this honor at the AAPM Annual Meeting the following summer. At the Awards Ceremony, each new Fellow is called to the stage and receives a plaque from the Association’s President, while a brief description of their accomplishments is read. This honor is an important means of recognizing AAPM members who have distinguished themselves through their professional activitiesl.

The individual Fellow or chapter making the nomination starts the process online, which creates a distinct web page for the nominee that is identified only by an ID number. The ID number is then used by the nominee and by members who are making or supporting the nomination. The Fellow or chapter making the nomination must submit a letter explaining why they believe the candidate should be considered for Fellowship. As described above, at least one other Fellow must submit a letter of recommendation. The letters should not reiterate the nominee’s CV but should objectively explain how the nominee has distinguished themself and convincingly make a case for award of Fellowship by the Association..

Once a member has been nominated, the process requires that the nominee upload a CV and a brief biographical sketch. The nominee then will provide quite extensive information to support the nomination. The information falls into the categories mentioned above.

Under the heading of “Service to AAPM,” the system will auto-populate current and past activities and positions from the nominees’ AAPM profile that support the Association (including service to AAPM Chapters). Clearly, terms as an officer of the national organization or a chapter, a board member, or an annual meeting program director reflect a high degree of commitment to the Association. The A&H Committee also considers individual appointments and membership or chairmanship of councils, committees, subcommittees, and task groups.

In the section for Research and Scholarly Contributions, the nominee describes service as PI of extramural grants, has published in peer-reviewed journals, has made oral or poster presentations, or has published proceedings papers, among other relevant activities.

The section on Teaching and Mentoring enables the nominee to describe the formal courses they’ve taught, lectures they’ve given at, for example, an AAPM Summer School, the number of PhD or MS students for whom they’ve served as supervisor, and served as a graduate or residency program director. Again, this is just a subset of the information that can be provided.

The application contains a section on Clinical Activities, enabling the nominee to describe exceptional accomplishments in the clinical practice of medical physics.

In a section labeled “Other,” the nominee can describe their contributions to specialty certification boards, other societies relevant to medical physics, government advisory committees, and work in the commercial sector.

The biographical sketch and the letters making or supporting the nomination can provide further detail or explanation and describe the nominee’s role in their clinical practice.

Election to Fellowship in AAPM signifies that the recipient has demonstrated excellence in leadership to the profession, service to the Association, research and scholarly works, or teaching and mentoring. Not all who are nominated in a given year will be selected for this honor. But members may be elected at a point in the future after they have added to their list of achievements. The award of Fellowship is a significant honor, and the A&H Committee hopes that this article helps explain how the selections are made.